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Joel Edmundson: a first step towards making room for young people

I don’t know if you’ve tried the exercise of lining up 23 Habs players recently… but it’s not exactly easy. Why is that?

Because there are a lot of people at Mass.

In reality, including the guys who have an NHL contract or who have to sign a contract that will guarantee them a place in the sun, here’s what it looks like down the road.

There are four guys too many for the 23-player roster and seven guys too many for those who are dressed.

Caufield – Suzuki – Anderson
Newhook – Dach – Monahan
Slafkovsky – Dvorak – Gallagher
Harvey-Pinard – Evans – Armia
Hoffman – Pitlick – Pezzetta – Ylönen

Matheson – Savard
Guhle – Barron
Harris – Xhekaj
Kovacevic – Wideman

Primeau (who is eligible for the ballot, as the GM reminded us today)

That explains why the Habs didn’t sign an NHL player today, we agree. But more importantly, it explains why Joel Edmundson was traded to the Capitals earlier today. The CH has, unsurprisingly, chosen Mike Matheson, David Savard and Chris Wideman (for now) to guide the youngsters.

Edmundson may not be the only one.

The bottom line is that Kent Hughes has two good reasons for not signing an independent player on a relatively busy day for the available supply. It was busier than usual, because without the right tools, it doesn’t work well… #Twitter

First, there’s the fact that we don’t want Carey Price to be placed on the long-term injured list this off-season – as was the case last season when Sean Monahan arrived.

Basically, this would give the club an advantage over deferring bonuses, which would help in 2024-2025, when the CH will aspire to greater things in the standings.

But above all, it’s so as not to block the youngsters. Even if a page is being turned, it was the right thing to do. #SouvenirsDesSéries2021

Because even if Edmundson was there to mentor the youngsters, he was doing so at the expense of a roster spot. Remember that when everyone was healthy, Xhekaj, Harris and Kovacevic skipped their turn once in a while.

It didn’t fit in with the CH’s vision. And with Matheson, Guhle, Harris and Xhekaj on the left, it was a crowded Mass, let’s say.

Looking back over the last few days, it’s clear that the Habs have continued to make decisions for the future. In fact, the vast majority of personnel moves are along these lines.

Jonathan Drouin and Chris Tierney left to make room for younger players. Alex Belzile (whom the CH wanted to keep… on its terms), Anthony Richard and Joël Teasdale (three important guys in Laval in recent years) who are no longer with us, are also there to make room for the youngsters.

The youngsters in question include Alex Newhook and the guys who were drafted.

In fact, the only exception to the rule (since every good rule has its exception) is Sean Monahan. Signing him two weeks ago is the only signing that’s holding the kids back.

There are other guys blocking the way, but I’m sure Kent Hughes is trying to find a new home for a guy like Christian Dvorak, not to name him.

Of course, we know that injuries will change things. That’s perfectly normal in this context – despite the changes in the Canadiens’ infirmary.

So the Habs get what they want (space on the ice and under the ceiling)… and if the Capitals are lucky, they can flip Edmundson at the deadline for an interesting pick.

To be continued.

In gusto

– The Quebecer has a new contract.

– Anthony Duclair to San Jose.

– Interesting contract.

– The CH alumnus gets a job.

– Tony DeAngelo will go to Carolina.

– The Bruins hope.

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